A while ago we took a trip to the beach with friends for a few days and I was deciding which games to bring to pass the time since it looked like there would be rain. That led me to ponder how much fun we were likely to have no matter what we did! We went with 2 of the couples we meet with weekly. One of the husbands, a teacher, celebrated the last day of the school year. The rest of us were just happy to get away from the daily grind for a while.
I am so thankful for the couples we meet with weekly. We talk a lot on this blog about communication between husband and wife, about selfless service, listening and meeting needs. That is all so essential for a good relationship. But have you ever thought about how important it is to have other like-minded committed couples that you know well, and who know you well too? They can add so much to our lives that we’d miss without them.
It takes time to develop the closeness I’m talking about but it is worth it. Being a good friend will go a long way towards building the trust needed to have a relationship where all couples can share openly. We all tend to open up at different rates depending on our background, but a good friend will be patient.
The benefits go both ways when couples relate on a deeper level.
Of course there are the fun times like we had. Laughing and joking around lower our stress levels. Often, playing together will open us up for sharing of trials and struggles, and problem solving together.
Sometimes we include families and other friends. Then we get to see our friends relating to their loved ones, deepening our knowledge of them. We begin to see creative and amazing ways they relate to their family; things we may want to adopt for ourselves to improve. In the process we will notice hurtful or destructive habits and behaviors also. If our relationship is close we can see those blind spots, point them out gently, and share ideas about what might work better.
And most importantly, we will know how to specifically pray for our friends. We’ll be able to uphold them in their struggles and help in times of need. In turn, they will do the same for us! Our marriages will be improved and our lives enriched in the way that only serving others can do.
Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2 (NIV)